May 2, 2023

Momentum President + Founder, Shawn Smith - speaks at 2023 BCAB

Using all available tools at the industry’s disposal, including emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create compelling and engaging content, will be key to the future of radio and television, the 73rd B.C. Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) Conference heard last Thursday.

The association’s first gathering in three years, Claire AndersonCRTC commissioner for B.C. & Yukon, set the tone for the conference, opening by touching on the policy consultations about to get underway around Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, telling those in attendance that the broadcast industry’s ability to connect with audiences is essential to success and remains imperative. 

Programming consultant Valerie Geller continued that theme emphasizing the importance of storytelling and connecting with audiences authentically, while advising that broadcasters need to use all available tools at their disposal. With ongoing questions about how ChatGPT and generative AI will influence the future of content creation, Geller believes there is a place for AI in broadcasting.

“You won’t be replaced by ChatGPT,” Geller told the audience. “You’ll be replaced by those who know how to work with it.”

“What would I tell hosts concerned about GPT? The first thing to do is to find out everything you can about it. It’s really good, but it’s not quite perfect yet,” she continued. “I think there’s a place for AI. I live in Los Angeles. I think if there’s an earthquake, most people in L.A. wouldn’t care if it was ChatGPT telling them to watch out for a tsunami or giving them the weather…but if we need something human, if you need the human touch, a computer, a robot will never replace that.”

Geller added that right now, we’re in “the spiderweb” with no regulation.

“It’s like nuclear power, you can use it to warm yourself or you can use it to destroy the world. Those who use it well and responsibly, we will benefit. For those who use it irresponsibly, it will result in dire, dire consequences. I think if we embrace this in the right way, we have very exciting days ahead.”

Later in the day, a panel of young leaders, also touched on the importance of embracing new technologies rather than coming from a place from a place of fear.